French laws for cyclists

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
chriskurton
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French laws for cyclists

Postby chriskurton » 11 May 2017, 1:25pm

Is it compulsory to have lights on your bike during the day in France ( not necessarily lit!), also what about wheel reflectors?

Samuel D
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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby Samuel D » 11 May 2017, 1:32pm

If it is, it is certainly not enforced. Like most French laws, some might say!

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meic
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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby meic » 11 May 2017, 1:34pm

Daylight lights are certainly not compulsory, if there are any laws about wheel reflectors, they are clearly ignored by cyclists and Police alike!

You do legally need a Hi-Viz jacket after dark outside of town limits, to the appropriate specs. I did get the feeling when I was there that I was the only cyclist who cared about this or was the only cyclist who actually left the town limits after dark.
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meic
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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby meic » 11 May 2017, 1:45pm

This says that the wheel reflectors are indeed compulsory. Though UK experience of equivalent websites here is that they are unreliable sources of legal facts.

http://www.freewheelingfrance.com/plann ... rance.html

Also note that as a "visitor" we may be subject to laws like wearing a hi-viz or helmet but our cycles themselves only have to meet the international standards.

A bit of a surprise to see the new headphones law.
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Audax67
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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby Audax67 » 11 May 2017, 1:56pm

You're definitely supposed to have them, but the lack is only likely to be an issue if you're in an accident that involves visibility, or if the police stop you for something else and you get stroppy. You're also supposed to have them on the pedals.

I use bits of black or plain silver reflective adhesive tape round the rims and on the outer faces of SPD pedals (the law doesn't say which way they're supposed to face). The law says nothing about colour so they don't have to be orange.

I have used 3M tubular spoke reflectors but if you use one per spoke on a 36-spoke wheel the wind will help you steer. I used one every 3 spokes. A chum mounts them up near the hub where they don't affect steering as much.

I'd definitely wear a hi-viz vest out of town after sunset. Not because of the law but for the extra clearance it gets you from motorists.

ETA hi-viz vests are also required in reduced visibility in daytime, e.g. heavy rain or fog - any time you'd drive with headlights, in fact.
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meic
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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby meic » 11 May 2017, 2:01pm

The law says nothing about colour so they don't have to be orange.


The precis I linked to above does say orange but as I said they are often not quite what the law says but a secondhand interpretation. Even if I found the actual regs, I cant understand French beyond the level of that picture.

The Dutch and Germans accept tyre sidewall reflectors in place of wheel reflectors, I wonder if the French do?
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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby Psamathe » 11 May 2017, 2:03pm

meic wrote:....
A bit of a surprise to see the new headphones law.

Applies to drivers as well (I believe) effectively making a lot of hands free phone gear illegal whilst driving (i.e. only speakerphone stuff is now legal). Fine is around £100 (€135) and points. Some US states have similar laws.

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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby Audax67 » 11 May 2017, 3:24pm

meic wrote:
The law says nothing about colour so they don't have to be orange.


The precis I linked to above does say orange but as I said they are often not quite what the law says but a secondhand interpretation. Even if I found the actual regs, I cant understand French beyond the level of that picture.

The Dutch and Germans accept tyre sidewall reflectors in place of wheel reflectors, I wonder if the French do?


I'd say so. After all, the tyres are on the wheel.

But now I'm a bit confused. The last time I looked up the highway code here, it merely said that the reflectors have to be catadioptric without specifying a colour. References I looked up just now, including the official French 'Code Rousseau' (highway code) site, do say orange.

I'd ignore it, though. I live in France and I've ridden without reflectors or with white reflectors for untold years with no problems. As I said, the police will only make an issue of it if you're involved in a night-time accident where visibility is an issure or if they really want to get you. My encounters with them have invariably been good-natured. My feeling is that if you've got lights you're OK, but best stay safe. Forget the orange, though.
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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby mjr » 11 May 2017, 4:35pm

chriskurton wrote:Is it compulsory to have lights on your bike during the day in France ( not necessarily lit!), also what about wheel reflectors?

Not if you're a visitor. The Vienna Convention applies: http://www.cyclinguk.org/cyclists-libra ... al-traffic - the bit which will catch out more UK riders is the requirement for a bell.
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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby brynpoeth » 11 May 2017, 4:44pm

Psamathe wrote:
meic wrote:....
A bit of a surprise to see the new headphones law.

Applies to drivers as well (I believe) effectively making a lot of hands free phone gear illegal whilst driving (i.e. only speakerphone stuff is now legal). Fine is around £100 (€135) and points. Some US states have similar laws.

Ian


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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby brynpoeth » 11 May 2017, 4:46pm

This is just the sort of thing we need the EU for. Reflectors and built-in dynamos on all new bikes :)
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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby Bmblbzzz » 11 May 2017, 4:48pm

meic wrote:
The law says nothing about colour so they don't have to be orange.


The precis I linked to above does say orange but as I said they are often not quite what the law says but a secondhand interpretation. Even if I found the actual regs, I cant understand French beyond the level of that picture.

The Dutch and Germans accept tyre sidewall reflectors in place of wheel reflectors, I wonder if the French do?

Don't Dutch laws actually require sidewall reflectors, as opposed to spoke reflectors, on new bikes now? Just to be clear, I'm talking about new Dutch-based bikes in the Netherlands, not visitors from abroad.

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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby mjr » 11 May 2017, 5:20pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:
meic wrote:The Dutch and Germans accept tyre sidewall reflectors in place of wheel reflectors, I wonder if the French do?

Don't Dutch laws actually require sidewall reflectors, as opposed to spoke reflectors, on new bikes now? Just to be clear, I'm talking about new Dutch-based bikes in the Netherlands, not visitors from abroad.

http://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_safe ... ehicles_en claims both Dutch and Germans accept sidewall reflectors. Do you have a link to a recent change?
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meic
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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby meic » 11 May 2017, 5:33pm

I would not read it that way, it seemed to be a list of the combined rules in Germany and Netherlands rather than saying these rules applied to both countries.

My knowledge was only that tyre reflectors were adequate in the Netherlands, It only went one way and I know nothing about the standing of wheel reflectors there.
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Re: French laws for cyclists

Postby Lance Dopestrong » 11 May 2017, 6:26pm

A beret and a string of onions around the neck are also compulsory.
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